Descendants of George & Mary Whitworth; London, England, about 1740

The Book

This branch of my family history research is encapsulated in my book the Descendants of George & Mary Whitworth, fourth edition, ISBN 978-0-473-12172-3. It’s available to borrow from our National Library and purchase from selected book sellers. It’s 196 pages, spiral bound A4, illustrated (mostly portraits, some colour), with index. It’s usually read as a reference or ‘dip-into’ book rather than cover to cover.

I’m continually learning more about my history so this document will keep evolving over time. The first edition was as at 11 November 2001, the second 25 May 2002 (49 pp.), the third 17 August 2003 (86 pp.), and this fourth edition 30 January 2007. Significant changes from the previous edition include information from the recently indexed 1841, 1851, and 1891 census; much work on the Kendons, with notable contributions by Ray Kendon, Muriel Williams, Lois Martell, some extracts of From Acorn to Oak Tree and The Small Years; and the first official publication of this work.


In the late 1700s George and Mary Whitworth lived with their children in the rapidly growing city of London, England.

Today, over 300 of their known descendants span the world.

In this family history 5×great grandson Tom Robinson of Wellington, New Zealand, presents facts, stories, and photographs of (and shared by) known descendants and families.

As well as covering the Whitworth family Descendants of George & Mary Whitworth extensively covers the Kendon surname; along with Brownie, Cole, Humphries, Jeans, Williams, and others.

The result is a comprehensive record—and a fascinating view—of one family line’s changes through time.


My earliest known Whitworth ancestors are George & Mary Whitworth. Probably born in London, England, around 1740, and they had at least one child there. At this time Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a teenager in Austria, the slave trade in the British Empire would continue for another seventy years, and the first modern railway was 100 years in the future.

This report includes their descendants, their spouses, and parents of spouses.

Where the country is known, 90% of the people in this branch were born in England, 4% in New Zealand, and the remaining in Canada, the Caribbean, Egypt, Germany, Ireland, Jamaica, and Scotland. Around 314 are living today.

In the early generations the Whitworth family appears to have been hard working but relatively poor. George & Mary’s son James, and his wife Elizabeth, were illiterate.

The most common professions are builder, printer/compositor, weaver, and teacher.

Note the procession of the name ‘Francis Whitworth’ from father to son, through five generations from 1804 to 1912. Even in the sixth generation it’s continued as a middle name.

The family branch of Kendon is a such a rare surname its inclusion in this work almost qualifies as a one-name study of Kendons living in England and New Zealand: There’s around 700 in the English Birth, Death, and Marriage indexes (1837–2004); and so far 45% of them appear in this booklet. There’s about 50 in the New Zealand indexes, with 75% identified.